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March 2015

31 March 2015

Greenpeace condemned the newspaper "Zavtra" for the article, printed 16 years ago

The reason for the litigation was the article "Greenpeace Network" in its issue from 1999, which sets out the harsh criticism of the organization.

"The court fully satisfied the claims of the plaintiffs and ordered the founder refute the allegations stated in the article, as well as it sought to 4.7 thousand roubles court costs," - said the source. Defence is going to appeal this decision, "since all possible time limitations expired" and the fact that the current founder did not work in the newspaper in 1999 and, according to Agranovsky, "is improper defendant."

RIA Novosti has not yet Greenpeace comments.

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30 March 2015

Printed media on the verge of extinction

The vast majority of the leading publications recorded a significant decline in circulation. "Arguments and Facts" reduced circulation by 5%, "Komsomolskaya Pravda" by 8%, and the famous tabloid "Life" immediately fell by 28%, resulting in data for Q3 2014 Bureau of Circulation Audit ABC.

Circulations popular glossy magazines also show decline – Men’s health loses 14%, Maxim 11%, and even Cosmopolitan record a decline of 2% .Traditionally is believed that the increase in circulation is caused by leaving the reader to the Internet, but now is not the main reason for the "extinction" of printed materials.

"The narrowing of the advertising market, problems with distribution by mail, destroying stalls - under the circumstances to publish a newspaper in its current form would be impossible in two months," - said at a round table of heads of regional media editor in chief of "Novaya Gazeta" Dmitry Muratov.If we add here significantly higher prices for paper, as we wrote earlier and rising prices of printing, the situation is altogether disastrous. "Our coated paper prices were increased by 50-60%, newspaper’s also expensive, but not as fast - by 10-15%" - explains the president of the Guild of Press Publishers Sergei Moiseyev.

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27 March 2015

Ksenia Sobchak made her last performance

Last Friday, in the CDL restaurant Ksenia Sobchak gave a dinner to celebrate the release of the new issue of the magazine L`Officiel - first under her leadership. At the same time her friends and acquaintances came to say farewell to her: Ms. Sobchak decided to leave Russia for a while, as her name appears in the so-called execution list, reported by the media after the murder of Boris Nemtsov.

After the former Russian publisher of L`Officiel Eugeni Zmievets parted with chief editor Evelina Khromtchenko, the life of the Russian version of the magazine has become a series of scandals and lawsuits. At some point, the magazine simply was ceased. There have been attempts to resuscitation,  a couple of years ago the granddaughter of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev Xenia Gorbachev was declared the new editor in chief, finally the magazine was launched, but without the editor in chief. The problem was not solved as long as the owner ID Artcom Media Alexander Fedotov has acquired 80% of the company "Les Editions Jalou Russe" which holds the license to publish the magazine L`Officiel in Russia. At the same time, Mr. Fedotov expressed willingness to invest in restarting edition € 6-8 million ("Kommersant" reported on this on Oct. 7, 2014). To begin with, Mr. Fedotov has invested in new asset the most precious thing he has, namely, Ksenia Sobchak, which up to this point led the magazine SNC, also included in the portfolio of Artcom Media. 

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Russian Lawmaker Defends Media's Right to Report on Cancer Suicides

Senator Konstantin Dobrynin, deputy head of the Federation Council's constitutional law committee, is challenging a federal watchdog's decision to force a news outlet to delete information about why nearly a dozen people suffering from cancer committed suicide last month in Moscow.

"The information about the reasons for suicides by cancer sufferers is socially significant in this case. … Covering up such information could lead to even more victims," the senator said in comments carried by state news agency RIA Novosti.

Dobrynin says that the federal media watchdog's decision to suppress the content violated the constitutional right to legally receive and distribute information, and he has sent an official inquiry to the watchdog's head, Alexander Zharov, RIA Novosti reported.

A ban on reporting about reasons for such suicides does not enable an adequate public view of the problems faced by cancer sufferers in Russia, including possible difficulties in obtaining necessary medication, Dobrynin was cited as saying in the inquiry.

Media watchdog Roskomnadzor earlier this month warned a popular religion-focused news site, Orthodox Christianity and the World, to delete all information pertaining to "methods" and "reasons" for suicides, according to a copy of the complaint posted on the news site.

The site was explicitly told to delete text that said: "The wife of the deceased explained that her husband suffered from constant pain because of cancer and often said he was tired of being sick," according to the complaint.

A controversial Russian law enacted in 2012 prohibits online content advocating suicide and drug use, among other things. Any website in violation can be blocked by the government.

At least 11 people with cancer committed suicide last month in Moscow and the surrounding region. One was reportedly a professor who hanged himself in his own lecture hall.

Moscow's deputy mayor for social issues, Leonid Pechatnikov, publicly dismissed speculation that the suicides were linked to difficulties in obtaining painkillers, an issue that brought the Health Ministry under scrutiny last year.

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26 March 2015

Russian Social Media Users Write 30 Million Daily Posts

According to a new study, Russian social media users pump about 30 million new posts into the digital ether every day. Igor Ashmanov, creator of Kibirum (a research firm that specializes in analyzing social media and managing online reputations), announced his company's findings at a marketing conference in Moscow earlier this month.

In addition to gauging social media activity across the RuNet, Kibirum‘s study focused on Russia's most active social networks: Facebook, VKontakte, Twitter, LiveJournal, and Instagram. According to the research, there are 3 million active Facebook users in Russia writing 4-5 million daily posts. There are 1.5-2 million Russian Twitter users, who tweet 8-12 million times a day. Instagram users share more than 2 million photos every day, and there are more than 14 million registered LiveJournal accounts. 

Russia's most popular online network, VKontakte, publishes 12 million daily posts from users who are generally the youngest of any major social media website. On average, the oldest users belong to the Russian website Odnoklassniki.

Kibirum‘s study also counted about 12,000 online news sites and more than 120,000 standalone blogs and Internet forums. 

For all the people registered on these websites and the large number of posts, Kibirumfound that only 5 percent of users actually create original content. (The vast majority of Web activity is reposting someone else's material.)

Efforts to calculate and label the RuNet's bloggers and digital media could become a major feature of future Internet regulations. The so-called “Law on Bloggers” that took effect in August 2014, as well as a more recent legislative initiative from Duma deputy Alexey Kazakov to equate unambiguously bloggers and journalists, will likely spur more efforts to quantify and identify the Russians producing and sharing content online. 

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25 March 2015

Russia Grants New Broadcast License To CNN

Russia has issued a new broadcast license to CNN, nearly three months after the international news station went off the air due to restrictions on foreign-owned media.

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24 March 2015

Two major Russian broadcasters launch new production company

Two major Russian broadcasting organisations have joined forces to launch a new content production company, Prime Time. The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) and National Media Group, both controlled by Yury Kovalchuk, a businessman and ally of Vladmir Putin, each hold a 40% stake in the new company. The remaining 20% is held by the new general director of Prime Time, Vyacheslav Murugov, who spent 10 years working at independent Russian broadcaster CTC Media before leaving to head the new company. 

CTC, which was initially expected to be part of the joint venture, was eventually left out of the deal due to restructuring, a circumstance brought about following last year’s law restricting foreign shareholding in Russian media to 20%, an anonymous source at CTC told Kommersant. Presently, 39% of CTC’s stakes are owned by Swedish media company Modern Times Group, while 25% are owned by Telcrest, a Cyprus-based bank of which 10.46% stakes were recently acquired by Russian state bank Bank Rossiya.

Prime Time has already began discussions with a number of free-to-air stations in Russia over upcoming projects, with a number tipped to be under development in partnership with production company Art Pictures Studio founded by director Fedor Bondarchuk.   

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20 March 2015

Russian Federation launches largest social media campaign in the last 3 years to curb tobacco use

The Russian Federation started 2015 by launching a large outdoor anti-tobacco campaign. The campaign is estimated to be the largest anti-tobacco social media campaign in Russia in the last 3 years. It is running as a display on 1000 billboards and 3000 street posters, and is supported by a video. 

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19 March 2015

Under Pressure From State Media, Russian Liberal Paper May Go Out of Print

One of Russia’s oldest and most liberal newspapers, famous for its critical stance against the Kremlin, is likely to go out of print, having come under considerable pressure due to competition from Russia’s state-sponsored newspapers.

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17 March 2015

Faced With Foreign Media Law, Sweden's MTG Seeks to Quit Russia

Swedish broadcasting group MTG is seeking a buyer for its 39 percent stake in Russia's CTC Media, business daily Vedomosti reported Wednesday. The move comes after President Vladimir Putin signed a law last year that limits foreign ownership of media companies to 20 percent. Vedomosti, citing two sources close to the companies, said MTG was looking to sell the entire stake and Swiss investment bank UBS had contacted potential buyers. In December, CTC said it had appointed UBS as financial adviser and professional services company KPMG as tax adviser following the signing of the new law.

"CTC Media is considering all potential structures in this regard, which may include corporate restructuring, franchising and licensing structures, capital reorganization or divestments," MTG spokesman Per Lorentz said. "MTG is not pursuing any separate process in relation to our holding in CTC Media," he added.

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